Collaboration and Worker Inclusion: AI’s Role in the Finance Sector

Collaboration and Worker Inclusion: AI’s Role in the Finance Sector

The finance sector has a history of embracing new technologies, and now it faces the challenges and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI).  

In the context of the European banking industry, collaboration among social partners and the involvement of workers and trade unions are crucial for ensuring a positive and inclusive future with AI. The European bank sector social partners, including UNI Europa Finance and employers’ organizations EBF, EACB, and ESBG, initiated the EU-funded project “Banking 2030.” This project focuses on AI’s impact on the European banking industry and its employees.  

“Finance is one of the sectors in which the use of AI tools is the most prevalent. While they have mostly been used for informing investment decisions, they are increasingly used internally for labour-related decisions. We are committed to working with employers to lay solid foundations to ensure AI works for people in the sector and not the other way around,” said Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa.

A second project workshop was held on 13 June in Stockholm. It was titled From Setting the Scene to Identify and Confirm Some Trends. The following key point were highlighted during the workshop: 

Collaborative Approach: The European bank sectoral social partners have a track record of working together to adapt to technological advancements. Recognizing that AI is no exception, it is essential to collaborate and address its implications collectively. By identifying challenges and opportunities, joint efforts can shape AI to be fit for purpose, providing benefits to workers while mitigating risks. 

Upskilling the Workforce: As AI integration accelerates, investing in the upskilling and reskilling of the existing workforce is vital. With employer-funded training and continuous learning opportunities, employees can acquire the necessary skills to effectively collaborate with AI systems. This enables them to adapt to evolving job requirements and leverage the potential of AI tools. 

Maintaining Human Control: Ensuring the “human in control” principle is crucial when implementing AI in the finance sector. AI should always serve as a tool under human supervision, complementing human skills and expertise. Human judgment, ethical considerations, and accountability remain essential in leveraging AI responsibly and ethically. 

Protecting Data Rights: Data protection becomes increasingly important as AI relies on vast amounts of information. Robust mechanisms must safeguard individuals’ privacy rights to prevent misuse or unauthorized access to sensitive data. Balancing the benefits of AI-driven insights with privacy concerns builds trust and acceptance of AI within the finance sector. 

Inclusion of Workers and Trade Unions: Workers and their trade unions should be active participants in discussions and decision-making processes regarding AI integration. Their insights and concerns should be addressed to create an inclusive work environment. This involves understanding the purpose and creation of AI, ensuring transparency, and assessing the impact on workers’ conditions to foster a positive AI-human collaboration. 

This project is possible thanks to the financial support of the European Union.

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